Urgent police warning: Be aware of courier fraud

Residents are urged to be on their guard against cold callers at the door following continued reports of courier fraud.

We have received numerous reports of this criminal activity in the south of the county in the last week.

Most recently, on Monday 8th February, we received four reports from concerned residents in the Burntwood and Lichfield areas. They had received a phone call from a man claiming to be a police officer from the Metropolitan Police. The residents were told that a debit/credit card had been cloned and a suspect was in custody in connection with this in the London area.

Residents were then told someone would be calling at their address to collect the card. The man has asked lots of questions about account activity and on one occasion became verbally aggressive when the call taker questioned his motives.

THIS IS COURIER FRAUD.

The courier scam is when fraudsters call and trick you into handing your cards and PIN numbers to a courier on your doorstep. There are many variations of the scam, but it usually follows this method:

  • A fraudster will cold call you on a landline, claiming to be from your bank or the police. They state their systems have spotted a fraudulent payment on your card or it is due to expire and needs to be replaced.  This is not true – Hang up your phone now.
  • In order to reassure you that they are genuine, they suggest that you hang up and ring the bank/police back straight away. However, they don’t disconnect the call from the landline so that when you dial the real phone number, you are actually still speaking to the fraudster.
  • They then ask you to read out your PIN or type it on your phone keypad. They may ask for details of other accounts you hold with the bank or financial service provider.  DO NOT give them any information.
  • Finally, they send a courier to you to collect your bank card. The fraudster will have then obtained your name, address, full bank details, card and PIN.  DO NOT engage with anyone who calls to collect your card or pin.

If you receive one of these calls end it immediately.

Protect yourself against courier fraud:

• Your bank will never send a courier to your home
• Your bank and the police will never collect your bank card
• Your bank and the police will never ask for your PIN

Please share this advice with friends or relatives who may not have access to our updates, particularly elderly parents, grand-parents, friends and neighbours. In this instance the caller claimed to be from the Met Police, but on other occasions they have said West Midlands Police.

Fraudsters have targeted the Codsall, Burntwood and Lichfield areas recently but residents in all areas are warned to be on their guard as they can target any location.

Call us on 101 to report any suspicious calls or if you have any information.

To report fraud phone Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

Please visit the action fraud website for more information and advice: http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/

 

Young people urged to Say No to Sexting in new campaign

#1Young people and parents across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent are being reminded of the dangers of ‘sexting’ in a new campaign.

 

The ‘Say no to Sexting’ campaign is being run by Staffordshire County Council and partner agencies and launches as part of Safer Internet Day on 9 February 2016.

The two-week campaign aims to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation and in particular the dangers for young people around sexting.  A brand new website at www.knowaboutcse.co.uk has information and advice for both young people and parents. The website also includes access to a new App to help young people say no, along with useful videos and resources for parents, professionals and schools.

#2

Sexting is when someone sends or receives a sexually explicit text, image or video, usually in a text message or through other messaging services.  Sexting is on the rise, yet most young people think that it’s harmless fun.  Not only is it illegal but also puts young people at a much higher risk of being sexually exploited online or offline.

John Wood, Joint Chair of the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Children Safeguarding Board said: “We have made great advances with our partners in protecting children, bringing together public and voluntary agencies to tackle child sexual exploitation.

#3

“Sexting’ is an activity we have become increasingly aware of amongst young people and many may not realise that what they are doing is illegal or that it may be potentially harmful to them in the future.  So many think that it’s a normal part of a relationship and just don’t understand that images can end up all over the Internet, and this can lead to them being bullied, exploited or blackmailed.  Many young people also don’t know they could be breaking the law.

#4

“We all have a part to play in helping young people stay safe online  and I would urge everyone, especially parents, to visit the new website at www.knowaboutcse.co.uk/parents  to find out more about sexting and pick up a few tips to start the conversation with their child.”

18-year-old Katie O’Brien has helped develop the campaign and has starred in one of the sexting videos made especially for the campaign.  Katie said: “When we first got involved in the campaign we didn’t realise how serious an issue sexting really was.  We knew it went on amongst some young people, but from research we did, we quickly discovered that the issue was much more serious than we ever could of imagined.  We really enjoyed the project and making the videos. We hope that young people and their parents will watch them so they know about the consequences of sexting and avoid getting caught up.”

Mike Lawrence, Cabinet Member for Children at Staffordshire County Council added: “For young people it’s about knowing the consequences of sexting and staying in control of their online conversations. For parents it’s knowing how to start conversations with their children to help keep them safe – and there’s lots of helpful advice on the campaign website.  It’s also great that lots of schools are joining in the campaign on Safer Internet Day and I would encourage them to download the materials and resources from the website.”

#5

Louise Rees, Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s Executive Director – People, said: “Child sexual exploitation can have devastating consequences on people’s lives and raising awareness of aspects of it like ‘sexting’ is incredibly important. The Say No To Sexting campaign is aimed at educating young people and their parents about these dangers, and how to stay safe.”

Staffordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis said: “Sexting is a serious concern because it leaves children and young people in danger of being sexually exploited. That’s why this campaign is so important. I’d urge parents to use the new website to get some practical tips so they can help their children to say ‘no’ to sexting.”

The campaign is being supported by the partners of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Safeguarding Children Boards, including Staffordshire County Council, Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Staffordshire Police, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, health organisations and schools. The new website also has advice and guidance on other ways to keep children safe online.

Anyone concerned about ‘sexting’ can go to the website at www.knowaboutcse.co.uk, talk to an adult they trust or call NSPCC on 0800 800 5000, it is free and available 24 hours a day and the number won’t appear on a telephone bill.  If you think that your child has been forced to send or receive an indecent image or video, or is engaging with them  inappropriately you can contact Staffordshire Police on 101 or report it online to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEO) at www.ceop.police.uk

Residents warned to be vigilant against courier fraud in Codsall

We are reminding people to be vigilant after receiving several calls today (Thursday 4 February) reporting incidents of courier fraud in the Codsall area.

So far we have received six reports from concerned residents saying they have had a phone call from a police officer. The residents are told that a debit/credit card has been cloned and a suspect is in custody in connection with this. They are then told someone will be calling at their address to collect the card.

THIS IS COURIER FRAUD.

The courier scam is when fraudsters call and trick you into handing your cards and PIN numbers to a courier on your doorstep. There are many variations of the scam, but it usually follows this method:

• A fraudster will cold call you on a landline, …claiming to be from your bank or the police. They state their systems have spotted a fraudulent payment on your card or it is due to expire and needs to be replaced.

• In order to reassure you that they are genuine, they suggest that you hang up and ring the bank/police back straight away. However, they don’t disconnect the call from the landline so that when you dial the real phone number, you are actually still speaking to the fraudster.

• They then ask you to read out your PIN or type it on your phone keypad. They may ask for details of other accounts you hold with the bank or financial service provider.

• Finally, they send a courier to you to collect your bank card. The fraudster will have then obtained your name, address, full bank details, card and PIN.

Protect yourself against courier fraud:

• Your bank will never send a courier to your home
• Your bank and the police will never collect your bank card
• Your bank and the police will never ask for your PIN

If you receive one of these calls end it immediately.

Please share this advice with friends or relatives who may not have access to our updates, particularly in the Codsall area.

Call us on 101 to report any suspicious calls or if you have any information.

Road traffic collision in Essington

Officers are appealing for witnesses after a road traffic collision in Essington.

We were alerted to the collision by colleagues at the ambulance service just before 12.30pm yesterday (Thursday 28 January).

Initial inquiries have established a pedestrian was in collision with a white vehicle on Wolverhampton Road after he got off a bus and crossed the road.

The 17-year-old pedestrian received cuts to his face, mouth and nose and grazes to his body and legs. He was taken to New Cross Hospital by the ambulance to be checked over.

Following the collision the driver of the vehicle did stop and speak to the pedestrian but had left the scene prior to emergency service arrival.

We are now trying to trace the driver of this vehicle.

Anyone with any information on the incident is asked to contact Staffordshire Police on 101, quoting incident number 318 of 28 January.

 

Suspicious incident in Brewood

We received a call just after 10.30am yesterday morning (Thursday 28 January) reporting suspicious behaviour in Brewood.

Three males entered The Village Bakery and assisted an elderly customer down the stairs to leave the store. The customer later realised her purse was missing.

The three men were also reported to have attempted to engage with two other elderly customers outside the store, unsuccessfully.

The men are described as dark skinned, one of them as aged between 18 to 19-years-old, clean shaven and wearing a red hoodie. The other two are late 20’s with stubbly trimmed beards and wearing dark clothes.

The three got into a silver Renault Megane, driven by a fourth person, and they drove off in the direction of the A5.

Residents are reminded to remain vigilante at all times and be aware of their personal belongings.  Make sure that your bag remains closed and close to your body, and that your purse and other valuable contents are not easy for opportunists to spot.

Anyone with any information on the incident is asked to contact Staffordshire Police on 101, quoting incident number 231 of 28 January.

Alternatively, they can contact independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their Anonymous Online Form at http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

If you have been a victim of crime click here for help and information.

 

Road traffic collision in Calf Heath

We received a call at 8.20am this morning (Thursday 21 January) reporting a road traffic collision in Calf Heath.

A red Saab and a white Ford Transit van were involved in the collision and Four Crosses Way was blocked on Staight Mile for a short while.

Ambulance services attended but there were no reports of any injuries.

Both vehicles were recovered and the road was clear a short while later.

Anyone with any information on the incident is asked to contact Staffordshire Police on 101, quoting incident number 111 of 21 January.

 

Tools and machinery stolen in Seisdon

We received a call just after 10am this morning (Thursday 21 January) reporting a burglary in Seisdon.

Between 2.30pm yesterday afternoon (Wednesday) and 9.30am this morning offenders have forced entry to the site on Tinkers Castle Road and broken into storage outbuildings, stealing tools and garden equipment.

Items stolen include:

  • 2 Honda petrol lawnmowers, red and black in colour
  • 1 Stihl FS76 petrol hedge strimmer, orange and black
  • 1 bucket of various machine mart spanners
  • Steering wheel lock

Anyone with any information on the incident, or who is offered any such items for sale, is asked to contact Staffordshire Police on 101, quoting incident number 196 of 21 January.

You can also report crime by contactacting the independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their Anonymous Online Form at

www.crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

If you have been a victim of crime click here for help and information.

 

Nine arrested following burglary, South Staffordshire

Nine people have been arrested following a burglary at a property in Pattingham, South Staffordshire.

Officers were called to the residential property at around 2am on Monday 18 January after the occupants were disturbed by their dog barking.

It was quickly established the offenders had stolen keys to vehicles at the property. Fortunately no vehicles were stolen.

Police patrols attended the address and with the support of the force’s Dog Support Unit, the helicopter, and colleagues from the Central Motorway Police Group (CMPG), an extensive area search was carried out.

Officers went on to locate six male offenders, who were all arrested and taken into custody in connection with the burglary. Following inquiries a further three were arrested.

The nine males are aged between 14 and 26 and from the West Midlands area. They have all been bailed, pending further inquiries.

Residents are reminded to keep their homes, outbuildings and vehicles locked and secure at all times. If you see any suspicious persons and/or activity in your community, please report it by calling 101.

For help and advice on how to step up security on your home and vehicles please visit:

http://www.staffordshire.police.uk/info_advice/crime_prevention/

Did you see a car before a fatal collision in Stourton?

Police are appealing for witnesses to a fatal road traffic collision that occurred around 00:40 hours on Saturday 16th January 2016 on the A580 Bridgnorth Road at Stourton near to the turning for Stourbridge Rugby Club. 

The incident involved a blue ‘R’ registered Subaru Imprezza, which was believed to be travelling in the direction of Stourbridge, which collided with a tree and lamp post. The driver was found in the road near to the vehicle by passing motorists.  Despite the efforts of the members of the public and West Midlands Ambulance Service personnel the male was pronounced dead at the scene.  Specialist officers are supporting the family at this difficult time. 

Stock Photo: CIU Officer at a scene

Officers from the Collision Investigation Unit attended the scene and the road was closed until the early morning whilst a detailed examination took place.  Officers are appealing for any witnesses to the collision or anyone who saw the Subaru beforehand to contact them on 101 quoting incident 38. 

The male involved has been formally identified as Lee WASSELL, 24 years, from Clee View Road in Wombourne.  The family have asked that they be allowed time to come to terms with their tragic loss.

Have you got what it takes to join Staffordshire Police as a PCSO?

Stock Photo: PCSOs walking past a wall

Staffordshire Police is today, Friday 15 January,  starting the recruitment process for a number of new Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) to join the force later this year.

We have a number of vacancies across the force area, the majority are located in the south of the county. The new recruits will start in June and July 2016.

ACC Adderley
ACC Nick Adderley


ACC Nick Adderley said: “From day one the successful candidates will be helping to fight crime and protect the public of Staffordshire.

“PCSOs are key to our police family and they have a place in the hearts of the communities we serve. They are the familiar face on high visibility patrol and are well known by local residents, business leaders and communities.

“We need people who are good communicators with a calm, confident personality; problem solvers; team players; and people who easily build relationships, respect other people and appreciate views from communities across the county.

“You will need to be physically fit as there is a significant amount of walking involved as well as being emotionally resilient enough to deal with a variety of demanding issues.”

Stock Photo: Local policing in a town centre

Applications are welcome from all sectors of the community. This recruitment is for around 20 posts.

Application forms are available online – CLICK HERE

The closing date of receipt of applications is midday on Friday 5 February.